I just finished watching Richard Dutcher's Brigham City. Most of the movies I've rented from Netflix lately have been total duds. For instance, CHelsea Walls. I had to stop that movie 30 minutes into it. A lot of other 1 star movies. So bad I couldn't bother to write about them.
But Brigham City is different. It's an independent movie with studio polish. It's also one of the few movies I've seen that portray religion in a positive manner. It's even more amazing given that the movie stars Mormons. It's basically the story of a small town in Utah that gets hit by a serial killer. The sheriff doesn't really know what to do. Because it's Mormon though, he can do a few things as bishop that he can't as sheriff.
THe acting for the most part is top notch. The main deputy I didn't like his performance too much. Too amateur, and it was the only bit in the movie that made me thing, cheap independent. Richar Dutcher himself plays the lead. He's a sad man who dealt with tragedy. Now he's dealing with something worse. Wilford Brimley has a good supporting role as the former sheriff come new deputy. The other actors all play their parts quite well.
The movie has few things that it beats you over the head with. The theme is one of them: outside world breaking through the protective walls of the small town. But other than that it does not. Responsibility and community are subtly played. The sheriff's Mormon faith plays a large part, but it isn't an overtly proseletyzing kind of thing.
THere's also a few good plot twists as well. The omens in the movie point the viewer at a lot of different suspects. Some of it's a little overdone, but in general this plays well. Except by the end of the movie the viewer has become used to it, so the final couple of sleights of hand I knew to be what they were.
Anyway, 5 out of 5 stars